Author Topic: Advice for our July 4 party?  (Read 8142 times)

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workerbee

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Advice for our July 4 party?
« on: June 11, 2012, 02:27:27 PM »
We recently bought a house with a pool and are looking forward to hosting our first 4th of July party! I'd love some advice on planning -- I am trying to keep it somewhat casual, but we have a lot of people we want to invite. Some with kids (we have two - 4 and 2) and some younger couples.

Right now the party is scheduled for 12-4pm.  I would like to have an 'open house' atmosphere, with people free to drop in as they please, and stay as long as they like -- is there any way to convey this in the invitation?

As far as food, we are thinking we'll provide hot dogs, ice cream, and beer/wine/lemonade/tea. Is it tacky to suggest that people bring a favorite side dish?

Thanks in advance for your ideas!

NotTheNarcissist

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2012, 02:39:03 PM »
When you say "a lot" .... is that around 25-30? I think for menu planning fellow ehellions may need better breakdown of numbers. For ex, 20 adults + 10 children under 10 yrs old.

Activity wise you have the pool.  We also have one. I stock up on pool toys at the dollar store or big lots prior to a party? Is this your first pool to own? There are some preventative tips if so.

Don't be surprised if they don't leave by 4p, even though the next day is a work day. Or maybe it's just my family that overstays.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2012, 03:06:11 PM »
To convey that it is an open house, just say that.

Fourth of July Open House
Come by anytime between 1 and 4
The pool will be open and the hotdogs on the grill.
RSVP by June 22nd


For casual get togethers with neighbors/friends you host often, I'd be fine suggesting bringing sides.  However, for an open house, I'm not sure it's feasible.  Some people wlll think 'Oh, we're just dropping by for  minute and don't plan to eat so won't take anything."  But they get there early, only one other person has brought some chips and they snack away and you don't have enough. 

I'd have additional munchies out and plan to provide at least a large amount of potatoe salad or baked beans as a side dish.

I think most will ask if they can bring something when they RSVP and then you can say "sure, if you'd like.  What were you thinking of bringing?" 

lowspark

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2012, 03:08:35 PM »
You can just call it an "Open House". People should know that means to drop by whenever and stay however long.

As far as bringing side dishes... I'm not sure how practical that is in an open house situation. Essentially the first ones to arrive will have fewer choices of sides (since many sides will arrive later) and the later ones to arrive will end up bringing things that don't really get eaten (since those who arrived earlier already ate).

EmmaJ.

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2012, 03:14:12 PM »
Have someone posted as a lifeguard - please!  Especially if you don't know the swimming skill level of the visiting kids.

I had to jump in a pool (fully dressed) and grab a kid who was flailing on the bottom of the deep end.  I still shudder just thinking about it.


Zilla

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2012, 03:40:40 PM »
I second the idea of assigning one or two persons as a lifeguard to man the pool at all times. (they can give each other breaks)


Since you are calling it an open house, I can't see you asking for side dishes.


I would just get a few platters of snacky foods in addition to what you have,

workerbee

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2012, 03:55:28 PM »
Thanks all! These are great suggestions so far -- I like the idea of a lifeguard. It had occurred to me, with toddlers running around. The pool itself has a safety fence (in addition to the fenced backyard), but you can never be too careful! I'm usually pretty vigilant, but will likely be distracted with hosting duties, etc. I'm sure one of our regular babysitters would be interested in a little extra cash....

As far as numbers, I'm thinking we will likely invite around 25-30 people. It's hard to know at the moment how many will actually attend, given that people often have plans for the 4th. I'm thinking since the holiday is on a Weds this year, people may stick around home and be interested in the party! Mostly adults, maybe 8 children (including our own) from ages 2-5.

Good point about the side dish vs. open house thing....I guess maybe the two are incompatible. I'll have to give that some thought. Of course I would plan to have a couple of additional sides (baked beans, chips, etc) available anyway. I was a bit worried that suggesting they bring a dish was somewhat.....ungracious? But maybe that's not the case?

Zilla

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2012, 04:02:33 PM »


Good point about the side dish vs. open house thing....I guess maybe the two are incompatible. I'll have to give that some thought. Of course I would plan to have a couple of additional sides (baked beans, chips, etc) available anyway. I was a bit worried that suggesting they bring a dish was somewhat.....ungracious? But maybe that's not the case?


If you want to have people bring a side dish, I would label the party as a Potluck Party instead of Open House.  Then you can suggest bringing something. 

lowspark

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2012, 04:46:47 PM »
I don't think it's ungracious to ask for sides. You're supplying the main dish, dessert & drinks, plus your house & pool. Calling it a potluck & asking for sides is fine.

jpcher

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2012, 06:42:37 PM »
I don't know that I would ask people to bring sides.

I'm not sure why . . . maybe because it's your first party with these people? Maybe that's a bit weird. But that's just me. :-\

Of course, if anybody offers to bring something, there's absolutely nothing wrong with taking them up on their offer.

I don't think your menu needs to be extensive . . . plenty of hotdogs, chips/dips, beans, probably a potato salad and/or a coleslaw (make sure you have a way to chill these all afternoon) or a fresh-veggie tray  . . . add a sliced watermelon with the ice cream and you're good to go.



Great idea on hiring the babysitter for the pool area!

HOWEVER! Does she have any life guarding experience/training? Make sure the parents know that she is not solely responsible for their kids . . . Let the parents know that if their child is in the water, they need to be in attendance as well. (Water safety is extremely scary with little ones.*)

Make sure your babysitter is well supplied with fresh drinking water and that she gets a short break every hour or so.

Also, you might want to have a supply of sunscreen on hand.



*I, too, had to jump into a pool fully clothed while my DDs were being "watched" one-on-one by two teens. The one teen watching DD#2 (3yrs) swam away to grab a ball, leaving DD#2 sitting on the in-water steps. When I looked up DD#2 had her head under water and her arms out, several feet away from the steps. Yes. Probably the scariest moment in my life.

And, yes. I posted that to scare you. It only takes a moment.

Thipu1

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2012, 08:09:20 PM »
Having hosted 'Open House' parties that ran from 10 AM to 8 PM, I feel that I can speak here.

Make the opening and closing times of the party clear.  Saying that guests may come, 'any time between 1 and 4' means that at least a few will show up at 3:59.  They will expect food and access to the pool until the fireworks go off at 10 PM. There are no fireworks?  Bummer!

Keep the alcohol on the low side.  Pools, hot sun and alcohol don't work well at all.

Especially with young children involved, the pool must be well policed at all times.  You don't want a guest to get into trouble.  You also  don't want half-eaten hot dogs floating around in the water. 

Invest in some side dishes.  Cole slaw, potato salad and a big bowl of greens don't cost much and can go a long way.  A pot of beans can also be good.


QueenofAllThings

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2012, 08:40:37 PM »
POD to lifeguards. Unfortunately, with so many adults around, many assume that someone else is watching. Hire, and pay, someone else to  do it.

kudeebee

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2012, 12:54:29 AM »
To convey that it is an open house, just say that.

Please join us for our first
Fourth of July Open House
Starts at noon, ends at 4 p.m.

The pool will be open (parents will need to be in the pool with their little ones)
Hotdogs  will be on the grill.

RSVP by June 22

I made just a few changes.  I would be very clear about start and especially the stop times.  I would also indicate right on the invitation that parents will need to be in the pool with their little ones--that way the parents will come prepared with swimsuits.

I would add simple sides as suggested by others--chips/dips, veggie tray, fruit, cole slaw or potato salad.

Dorrie78

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2012, 07:41:52 AM »
I agree with the others about adding some sides of your own. Is this your first party in your new home? Will the attendees know that this is a new home? I ask because people may view this as a housewarming party and may bring small housewarming presents. If that is the case, I would really think twice about making it into a potluck. Just doesn't sit right to me - I think I would want to entirely host that first event in my new house so that I wasn't uncomfortable if someone showed up with a gift and a side dish.

bopper

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Re: Advice for our July 4 party?
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2012, 09:57:54 AM »
Quote
The pool will be open (parents will need to be in the pool with their little ones)

This is good. This is what we did when our kids were little and they wanted to swim.  We always had a parent in the pool so they would be watching the kids. (we took turns).